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(Yahoo)   John McCain is pushing for US forces to begin bombing the Travel Channel, Telemundo, and HBO 3   (tv.yahoo.com) divider line 41
    More: Interesting, John McCain, Telemundo, HBO, watching television, cable televisions, product bundling, Barry Diller  
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1877 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 13 Sep 2013 at 10:48 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



41 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-09-13 09:09:51 AM
Hear! Hear! Why should John McCain pay for channels that aren't showing Matlock!?
 
2013-09-13 09:39:08 AM
I'd like it. I can get to local channels via antenna (and more of them, as well) and just pay for what I already watch otherwise (maybe 5 or 6 cable channels), pick up BBCA and AJ and probably come out ahead on my cable bill.
 
2013-09-13 09:49:53 AM
I'd like this, but I'm sure the cable channels will just raise rates to compensate.
 
2013-09-13 09:53:01 AM

RedPhoenix122: I'd like this, but I'm sure the cable channels will just raise rates to compensate.


Then more channels will get dropped by customers, then rates will be raised again, and the death spiral begins.
 
2013-09-13 10:09:51 AM
We've cut the cable, except for internet (absolutely no other reasonable options for internets) and I'm not seeing any difference.  $150 a month  for cable vs. ~$25 a month for Netflix, Hulu plus and Amazon prime.  Yeah, sorry not interested in 200 channels nobody in the house will ever watch.
 
2013-09-13 10:18:32 AM

nekom: We've cut the cable, except for internet (absolutely no other reasonable options for internets) and I'm not seeing any difference.  $150 a month  for cable vs. ~$25 a month for Netflix, Hulu plus and Amazon prime.  Yeah, sorry not interested in 200 channels nobody in the house will ever watch.


I have Clear for internet (no cable) and Dish (cable w/o cable).
 
2013-09-13 10:26:55 AM

simplicimus: RedPhoenix122: I'd like this, but I'm sure the cable channels will just raise rates to compensate.

Then more channels will get dropped by customers, then rates will be raised again, and the death spiral begins.


I worry more about them raising my internet rates to compensate.
 
2013-09-13 10:27:46 AM
That just means some lobbyist somewhere wants this to happen because someone stands to make more money doing this and making you think you're better off.
 
2013-09-13 10:34:33 AM
If you went *FULL* ala carte.... every channel (at least channels that people really want) would be effectively at least $2-3/month... that would be on top of a base of $20-30 for just "having" cable from the cable company.    People seem to think that they would get some sort of "deep discount" off the $60-70/month they are paying, and, honestly, you aren't going to see that, because you get 220 channels because 90% of the channels are only costing you 10 cents a month (other than a handful that are 25 cents-$1/month, and ESPN which is $5).   Of course, ESPN then would be at minimum probably $15-20/month in an alacarte system, to keep up with the fees it needs to afford MNF and other contracts.

IMO.... the solution that might work best is forcing a kind of "semi-ala carte"..... providers would have to allow for a $1-2/mo "Swap option" on any plan.... for that $1-2 extra per month, a person can be on an existing plan, but, swap out 5 "cost" channels (ie, you can't swap out a religious or shopping network that isn't likely getting any fees anyway) on their current plan for 5 channels in a "higher level" plan.  This way, someone can be on the lowest possible package, and swap in the 5 channels they really want for a negligible amount more, instead of having pay $10-20/month more to jump up to a higher plan with a bunch of other channels they don't care about.   The other thing that will do is tell the provider what channels people really want.... ie, if they see a lot of people swapping out X for Y, they might just put Y in the base plan then, and take out the other X channel.
 
2013-09-13 10:53:09 AM
The Senator is apparently entering one of his lucid phases.
 
2013-09-13 10:54:13 AM
If you think this is some altruistic plea from a man concerned about us and his 101 year old mother, I've got a bridge I'd like to shove up your ass.

Money.
 
2013-09-13 10:54:18 AM
Please stop treating Jesus and shopping channels like they're a feature, and not an annoyance that I have to block from my Dish lineup. Thanks.
 
2013-09-13 10:58:21 AM
Been without cable for 6 years or so now, not even a la carte will bring me back.
 
2013-09-13 10:59:24 AM
Insert picture of "why not both" girl here.

It seems to me that if a cable company really wanted to be consumer friendly they could offer a few tiers of bundled service, but also an a la carte option where you can pick a few cable channels to add to a reasonably priced base subscription. At some point if you added enough channels it would make sense just to buy a tier, but if you only wanted NatGeo and the Science channel and nothing else, you'd pay a reasonable price.
 
2013-09-13 11:06:19 AM
You can get both sides to vote to burn the other. Tell the libs they don't have to have money go toward Fox News, and the cons they don't have to support CNN MTV Comedy Central and on and on.
 
2013-09-13 11:10:34 AM
Gimme my HBO by itself, damn it!

/currently enjoying Netflix DVD + Amazon Prime
 
2013-09-13 11:20:38 AM
I wouldn't mind paying for The Hub by itself.  For reasons that are nobody's business.
 
2013-09-13 11:21:46 AM

dletter: If you went *FULL* ala carte.... every channel (at least channels that people really want) would be effectively at least $2-3/month... that would be on top of a base of $20-30 for just "having" cable from the cable company. People seem to think that they would get some sort of "deep discount" off the $60-70/month they are paying, and, honestly, you aren't going to see that, because you get 220 channels because 90% of the channels are only costing you 10 cents a month (other than a handful that are 25 cents-$1/month, and ESPN which is $5). Of course, ESPN then would be at minimum probably $15-20/month in an alacarte system, to keep up with the fees it needs to afford MNF and other contracts.


My grandfather ran a cable company (until he died, in 1994).  He often wanted to carry a single channel (say, MTV), as that would only cost him a few cents a month per subscriber.  But Viacom wouldn't sell him just MTV; he had to take MTV/VH1/Nickelodeon and one other channel, and pay them a buck a month. per subscriber.  He tried to keep prices low, as he served a poor rural area (basic cable was $12.50/month) so he waited until he had to raise prices, bumped it up to $15/month, gave Viacom their money and tried to placate his subscribers by telling them they were getting more channels for their money (he used the rest of the increase to fund a fibre trunk system, but that's another story).

tl;dr version: bundling is used to screw everyone and if everything were truly a la carte, providers would ditch tons of channels no one watches, concentrating on the channels people actually watch.

I have over 200 channels through Verizon FiOS.  I watch maybe a dozen.  I'd happily give up a hundred channels of crap (including ESPN which is super expensive for cable providers) for a single channel of HBO and BBC America.
 
2013-09-13 11:26:12 AM

Detinwolf: Gimme my HBO by itself, damn it!

/currently enjoying Netflix DVD + Amazon Prime


HBO would be wise to do a deal with Netflix where you paid $5/month extra and had access to just HBO TV shows.  $60/year isn't going to break anyone, and they know how heavily pirated GoT is.  It would be an absolute windfall for the company and for Netflix.

It would also screw Comcast and TimeWarner's pooches, which I see as a bonus.
 
2013-09-13 11:40:37 AM
This is something I can get behind.

Cartoons, NBA, news, and "education" channels.  That is all I want.
 
2013-09-13 11:45:32 AM
I like this idea, but can't help thinking that without being subsidized by the more popular channels, the niche channels I like will either disappear or go the dark route of TLC, History, and SyFy.
 
2013-09-13 11:46:02 AM
The true future of television is on demand streaming of shows versus the current scheduled model. On demand streaming eliminates the whole concept of prime time, with people watching when it's convenient for them, an advertisement viewed at 3 am Sunday is just as valuable as one watched at 8 pm Thursday.

Instead of sitting down and flipping through channels to find that there is nothing on, you scroll through a menu to see what's available. Shows that people wouldn't have even heard of before can now be watched, bringing up the viewership and making more revenue for the show.
 
2013-09-13 11:47:14 AM

gnosis301: I wouldn't mind paying for The Hub by itself.  For reasons that are nobody's business.


Your sparkly rainbows are safe with us soldier.
 
2013-09-13 11:56:44 AM
Skip the middle-man. Just pitch pilots on kickstarter and the public will pre-fund them through a set number of episodes. Release for free-streaming on the internet afterwards.

It would be a big break from previous methods and can't work with present economics. Over time though, there will arise methods to make it work.

/[insertcptreynoldsquoteonmiddlemen]
 
2013-09-13 11:57:17 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-09-13 11:58:06 AM

I_Am_Weasel: Hear! Hear! Why should John McCain pay for channels that aren't showing Matlock!?


They show Matlock, just in Spanish
 
2013-09-13 12:04:27 PM

gnosis301: I wouldn't mind paying for The Hub by itself.  For reasons that are nobody's business.


The Hub is one of the channels I'd like to get online, if that became available. That and the science/nature programming and news broadcasts.
 
2013-09-13 12:04:45 PM

StrikitRich: I_Am_Weasel: Hear! Hear! Why should John McCain pay for channels that aren't showing Matlock!?

They show Matlock, just in Spanish


Well, McCain is From Panama, so it's all good.
 
2013-09-13 12:11:08 PM

ReapTheChaos: The true future of television is on demand streaming of shows versus the current scheduled model. On demand streaming eliminates the whole concept of prime time, with people watching when it's convenient for them, an advertisement viewed at 3 am Sunday is just as valuable as one watched at 8 pm Thursday.

Instead of sitting down and flipping through channels to find that there is nothing on, you scroll through a menu to see what's available. Shows that people wouldn't have even heard of before can now be watched, bringing up the viewership and making more revenue for the show.


Hell, if I could just deselect all the crap from my channel roster, I'd be a happy man.
 
2013-09-13 12:15:56 PM

Dwight_Yeast: ReapTheChaos: The true future of television is on demand streaming of shows versus the current scheduled model. On demand streaming eliminates the whole concept of prime time, with people watching when it's convenient for them, an advertisement viewed at 3 am Sunday is just as valuable as one watched at 8 pm Thursday.

Instead of sitting down and flipping through channels to find that there is nothing on, you scroll through a menu to see what's available. Shows that people wouldn't have even heard of before can now be watched, bringing up the viewership and making more revenue for the show.

Hell, if I could just deselect all the crap from my channel roster, I'd be a happy man.


That's why I use the TV guide website. I set up usual channels on my favorites tab, and use the All channels tab if I want to go hunting.
 
2013-09-13 12:24:31 PM
I think the mountains of cash/coke/whores model of TV is due for a major shakeup.

A basic channel like History or ESPN Classic is pulling in subscriber fees in the $.25 range.  Or $250 million a year.  Then pile on $3-400 million in ad sales. For one basic channel.  Seriously, is Duck Dynasty costing that much to make?  Video production costs are about 1/1000th what they were even 30 years back. Hell, there are almost infinite numbers of interns willing to do it for free.

I know... we've gotten used to ultra-high production values and high-paid actors.  But, seriously, places with far less cash rolling in (by sheer virtue of having far, far viewers) don't have any problem producing tens of thousands of hours of TV programming. There's no shortage of New Zealand or Quebec or Irish or Latvian TV being made.
 
2013-09-13 12:45:48 PM
Me. Antenna+Netflix+dozens of streaming sites cover every single thing the wife and I want to watch. We haven't had cable in years.

/google fiber very shortly
 
2013-09-13 02:33:59 PM
I don't need ala carte, but how about just the ability to not pay for 7 different ESPNs and a bunch of Fox Sports and other sports channels.  They're the most expensive channels to offer, and I have no interest in watching or paying for them.  If there's a game on I absolutely must watch, I'll go to the local sports bar.
 
2013-09-13 02:37:52 PM

ShawnDoc: I don't need ala carte, but how about just the ability to not pay for 7 different ESPNs and a bunch of Fox Sports and other sports channels.  They're the most expensive channels to offer, and I have no interest in watching or paying for them.  If there's a game on I absolutely must watch, I'll go to the local sports bar.


Then you do need ala carte.
 
2013-09-13 02:50:29 PM

ShawnDoc: I don't need ala carte, but how about just the ability to not pay for 7 different ESPNs and a bunch of Fox Sports and other sports channels.  They're the most expensive channels to offer, and I have no interest in watching or paying for them.  If there's a game on I absolutely must watch, I'll go to the local sports bar.


Well, this was 2009, only higher by now:

i0.wp.com Adding up the all sports networks....
ESPN 4.08
FSN 2.37
NFL .75
ESPN2 .54
NHL .35
MLB .24
NBA .22
ESPN Classic .18
ESPN News .17
Golf .25

Those together are around $9/mo, if you get them all in your package.  In 2013, probably more like $12-13.

Here is the thing, that average at the end is .20... lets say by now in 2013, that is probably 30 cents.  So, based on X channels in your package:
120 channels.... $36
180 channels.... $54
240 channels.... $72

And actually, those 180 and 240 are probably much lower, since that .30 cents is heavily inflated by the channels people get even in the 120 package (ESPN, Local FSN, TNT, etc).   So, the extra channels you are getting by going "up" levels is probably most likely averaging only 10-15 cents per channel, not 30 cents (outside of NFL Network being on the higher tier in some cases).   So, really, that 180 and 240 are more like $45 and $52.

Honestly, look at your bill, at those $10-20 extra receiver fees.... why aren't we trying to get those reduced, instead of solely looking at the "ala carte problem"?   Why are we paying for essentially "renting" something in perpetuity that costs at most probably $50-100 to buy outright, and only works if you are subscribed to the service?
 
2013-09-13 03:44:16 PM

Dwight_Yeast: Detinwolf: Gimme my HBO by itself, damn it!

/currently enjoying Netflix DVD + Amazon Prime

HBO would be wise to do a deal with Netflix where you paid $5/month extra and had access to just HBO TV shows.  $60/year isn't going to break anyone, and they know how heavily pirated GoT is.  It would be an absolute windfall for the company and for Netflix.

It would also screw Comcast and TimeWarner's pooches, which I see as a bonus.


The problem with your plan is that TimeWarner owns HBO.
 
2013-09-13 04:59:30 PM
A la carte is a terrible idea, but build-your-own bundling would work:

- choose 5 channels for $10/mo
- choose 10 channels for $15/mo
- choose 20 channels for $20/mo

Something like that.

Add to that the ability for channels to make piggy-backing deals with each other to share revenue.

OR

You pay, say $20 a month, and the channels you actually watch split that $20 based on usage.
 
2013-09-13 08:04:21 PM

100 Watt Walrus: A la carte is a terrible idea, but build-your-own bundling would work:

- choose 5 channels for $10/mo
- choose 10 channels for $15/mo
- choose 20 channels for $20/mo

Something like that.

Add to that the ability for channels to make piggy-backing deals with each other to share revenue.

OR

You pay, say $20 a month, and the channels you actually watch split that $20 based on usage.


I assume you mean "$10-20/mo" ON TOP OF some sort of $25-30 "base fee"?

Do people not look at their bills?  Taxes, "wire charges", box fees... it isn't ALL the programming folks that gets your bill to $80/month.   It is a lot of it, but, there is a bunch of other "chaff" in there.  And then even your "$49.95" base package fee... that isn't ALL programming costs... that is some money that is just the provider covering other non-channel costs and making a profit.

I see people making these statements.   MAYBE you could get straight "10 channels for $15/mo" if some of the networks started going online streaming only, but... most of your internet access is controlled by the cable/television companies.... if the Government actually cared about keeping prices down, they would have split those companies up.

And "bundling" is what makes those prices on that image I posted above "relatively" low for most networks (other than those top 5-6, they all get under 50 cents per subscriber).   But, if 90 million households don't have a channel "ready to watch" in their houses, and for most of these networks how many people will pay drops down to somewhere in 5-20 million.... guess what, they aren't going to live on "less money".... multiply those channel prices by 5-10x for each one.

Granted, everyone who claims they only want "10-15 channels", even at 10x those prices... if you start with a base of $25 for your locals, and whatever the provider throws on for free (religious & shopping channels), you'd probably get your 10 channels for around $1-$1.50 each, or around $12.   So, $25+$12+other fee's... probably around $45-50.
 
2013-09-13 08:21:20 PM

dletter: I assume you mean "$10-20/mo" ON TOP OF some sort of $25-30 "base fee"?

Do people not look at their bills? Taxes, "wire charges", box fees... it isn't ALL the programming folks that gets your bill to $80/month. It is a lot of it, but, there is a bunch of other "chaff" in there. And then even your "$49.95" base package fee... that isn't ALL programming costs... that is some money that is just the provider covering other non-channel costs and making a profit.

I see people making these statements. MAYBE you could get straight "10 channels for $15/mo" if some of the networks started going online streaming only, but... most of your internet access is controlled by the cable/television companies.... if the Government actually cared about keeping prices down, they would have split those companies up.

And "bundling" is what makes those prices on that image I posted above "relatively" low for most networks (other than those top 5-6, they all get under 50 cents per subscriber). But, if 90 million households don't have a channel "ready to watch" in their houses, and for most of these networks how many people will pay drops down to somewhere in 5-20 million.... guess what, they aren't going to live on "less money".... multiply those channel prices by 5-10x for each one.

Granted, everyone who claims they only want "10-15 channels", even at 10x those prices... if you start with a base of $25 for your locals, and whatever the provider throws on for free (religious & shopping channels), you'd probably get your 10 channels for around $1-$1.50 each, or around $12. So, $25+$12+other fee's... probably around $45-50.


Which is why part of why I have a Roku, an antenna, and the only money I spend on video content is Netflix streaming. (Well, that and I buy "Doctor Who" season passes from Amazon.)
 
2013-09-13 08:57:36 PM

dsmith42: Dwight_Yeast: Detinwolf: Gimme my HBO by itself, damn it!

/currently enjoying Netflix DVD + Amazon Prime

HBO would be wise to do a deal with Netflix where you paid $5/month extra and had access to just HBO TV shows.  $60/year isn't going to break anyone, and they know how heavily pirated GoT is.  It would be an absolute windfall for the company and for Netflix.

It would also screw Comcast and TimeWarner's pooches, which I see as a bonus.

The problem with your plan is that TimeWarner owns HBO.


I keep forgetting about that.  When my grandfather was alive, they were still an independent company.  He'd started carrying HBO in the 1970s soon after the channel was started and knew the founder personally, as it had been hard to sell the notion of "premium" cable at the time.
 
2013-09-14 08:14:20 PM
Wow - McCain used to be my senator.  I wrote him once about the fact that cable TV was a monopoly.  I got a nice form letter back stating that it wasn't his problem.

So fark you McCain.  You're bat-shiat crazy and you flip as much as you flop.
 
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